THE Chase viewers were left cringing tonight when Mark Labbett gushed about his “lovely wife” in badly-timed scenes just weeks following the split from his cheating wife.
The 53-year-old – nicknamed The Beast – made the comments before he was left heartbroken after ending things with Katie, 26, after five years of marriage following the news she had been secretly dating hunk Scott Bate, 28, for more than a year.
But before the drama unfolded, Mark was head over heels for cheating Katie – who is his second cousin.
Tonight, while speaking to contestant Leon, Mark gushed that his “lovely wife” had bought him a book on fashion tips.
And viewers cringed for Mark over the awkward comment after images emerged showing Katie on a date with metal worker Scott last week.
Earlier this week, Mark vowed to stay single as he works on co-parenting his son with his ex.
A source revealed: “Mark is planning on staying single for now and doesn’t want to meet anyone new.
“He plans to just focus on work and concentrate on raising their young son together.
“He feels like it’s far too soon to start dating again, it’s all a bit raw still, so he’ll need time to deal with it all.”
Over the weekend The Sun On Sunday revealed that Mark and Katie, who have a young son, are putting their £600,000 Hereford house on the market.
Their decision to split follows pictures of artist Katie, 26, on a date night with handsome metal worker Scott last week.
Katie said: “Mark and I had been talking about separating for some time — we have been drifting for a while.
“He works away a lot and that’s been hard. A lot of people think it’s the age difference but we don’t see that as the factor.
“It’s more that we don’t have mutual friends, and our lives are just very different.
“I met Scott by accident, on a night out, and we just clicked. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened. But Mark always knew — straight from the off I was honest.
“He knew I was going out and who I was seeing. He was incredibly understanding. If it was anybody else it wouldn’t matter, but because Mark’s in the limelight people have been gossiping. It’s frustrating.
Mark, 53, and Katie, 26, are putting their £600,000 Hereford house on the market[/caption]
“We remain good friends and he is happy for me that I’ve met Scott — and I’d be fine if he met someone else.
“So I just want to set the record straight now as I’m sick of all the speculation. I want us all to be able to get on with our lives.”
Last month we revealed that Katie had been secretly dating Scott, enjoying a trip to Capri and romantic mini-breaks.
After being approached by The Sun on Sunday, Scott removed pics and mentions of Katie from his Facebook page.
most read in tv & showbiz
Katie and Mark originally began chatting on Facebook when they were both seeing other people. But the pair struck up a friendship after she went to see one of his shows, and they both ended their relationships and got together.
Katie moved from Dubai to be with 6ft 7in Mark and they went on to marry at Arundel Castle in West Sussex in 2014.
Bizarrely, the couple are second cousins — but only found out after they wed.
Brainbox Mark stars in ITV quiz show The Chase hosted by Bradley Walsh[/caption]
Got a story? email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us direct on 02077824220.
We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.